habu coworking software

Owner Insights by Habu: How to Develop a Successful Coworking Tool

Habu - coworking management software
 Habu – coworking management software
Starting a big project like developing a coworking tool can be a bit daunting. However, the completed end product can be very rewarding. After a chat with Ryan Chatterton, the Marketing Director at Habu, I was able to get a glimpse of how the coworking tool Habu came about. Take a look at how Habu has developed from its beginner stages up until now.

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So, How did the idea for Habu come about? Where did it all start?

Jak and Robert, the founding brothers, helped set up a space called Hamilton House. Hamilton House has been around for about 8 years. After running their own space, there were typical business issues that arose. To solve these problems, they came up with the idea of Habu. The initial idea was developed about 4 years ago. For a while, they had no funding so the product didn’t gain any traction.

How was Habu created?

Because Jak and Robert are brothers, they had experience with designing things together. About 3.5 years after they came up with the idea of Habu, they were able to get their first investor, Webstart. Once they received funding, they hired a group of 5 people to help run the business.

Habu founders
Habu founders

How long did it take to create Habu?

They launched the product in fall of last year, 2016. So, it took about 3.5 years from the initial idea to the launch. There had been an initial version of the product that was used for testing. However, over the years it got scrapped and completely renovated. A big portion of the 3.5 years was due to the fact that they had no developers.

What were the major challenges faced along the way?

Aside from funding, expectation management was a bit of a challenge. The thing about building a coworking software is that people have different intentions for its use. Not every coworking space is the same. So, each user has different expectations for the product. Therefore, it was important to develop a product that solves everyone’s needs.

What are some things that were done to help Habu gain traction in a competitive market?

From a product perspective, Habu really focuses on speed and simplicity. The tool is responsive and fast. Being able to do things instantaneously is very important. From a marketing/sales perspective, we take a customer relations approach. We focus on relationship-building with our clients. These things altogether helped us to be more competitive.

What are future plans for Habu?

We strive to constantly improve. We are always updating and adding things to our current system. We have also been working on developing a prototype that will assist with checking members in automatically. It will be a good tracking method for places that don’t have a front-desk assistant.

Do you foresee any future obstacles?

Resources! Resources are critical to any project. With developers and funding, it allows the process to move along a lot quicker.

Current developers that Habu is backed by
Current developers that Habu is backed by

 

Name a unique feature of the product. (What sets it apart from competitors?)

Unlike some of the competition, we didn’t outsource our software; we developed it in-house. This allows us to have more control over our system. Also, some competitors developed their product a long time ago and don’t keep up with the changes in the market. This can result in the platform feeling outdated and unmodern, which usually deters customers. Habu does a great job in making sure things stay updated and fresh. Most importantly, Habu is passionate about giving their customers a  quality experience.

What is your favorite feature about the product?

The booking and invoicing system is really nice and easy to use. Sometimes, I actually wish I had my own space to manage so I could use the product more often.

How did you become a part of the team?

Image of Ryan, Marketing Director at Habu
Ryan, Marketing Director at Habu

I started off at Coworking Insights. Last summer I decided to do a big research on coworking tools. I spent a great a

mount of time researching and reviewing different tools. When I came across Habu, it really stood out among all the other tools. Their product and their overall approach was something that interested me. Their overall vibe was so perfect, I couldn’t resist. So, after I completed my big research project I asked if I could join the team. They gladly accepted, and now I get to help with marketing.

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